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| The Light Fantastic
|| February 15, 2001
| United States
|| December 15, 2001
|| Team Ota
|| 首藤剛志 Takeshi Shudō
|| 岩崎太郎 Tarō Iwasaki
| Assistant director
|| 岩崎太郎 Tarō Iwasaki
| Animation director
|| はしもとかつみ Katsumi Hashimoto
| Additional credits
The Light Fantastic (Japanese: テッポウオのそら！ Teppouo's Sky!) is the 185th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on February 15, 2001 and in the United States on December 15, 2001.
On the dry and dusty road to Olivine City, our heroes notice beautiful lights shining in the sky ahead of them. Realizing they are coming from just above the dried up lake on Remoraid Mountain, they run to the Remoraidian Ruins. Although the surrounding area is utterly arid, our heroes take note of the plentiful plant-life. What could be causing this change in climate? Does it have something to do with the lights above the bone-dry basin?
The episode begins with Ash and his friends traveling alongside a dried up river, and while taking a rest they notice a strange light above the Remoraid Mountain. As they continue traveling, the light disappears as they arrive at the ruins of the Ancient Colossal Tree Tribe where they find Nurse Joy and a Remoraid Fossil. Nurse Joy explains that there haven't been any Remoraid in the area for centuries ever since the rivers and lakes dried up as a result of the actions of the Ancient Colossal Tree Tribe's Remoraidians who cut down the surrounding forests for the sake of building a large city. Eventually after all the land's natural resources dried up, the Remoraidians had to move away to find a new place to live, leaving the city deserted. Following this explanation, Nurse Joy then points out that recently, small flowers have been growing in the arid landscape again. After arriving at the Pokémon Center and having a drink, Nurse Joy reveals that there's an underground lake near the Pokémon Center which is filled up when water flows through the empty river bed approximately every 12 years. It is at this point that they meet Mr. Gan Gogh, an artist who visits once every 12 years to try to draw the Rainbow Lights.
Gan Gogh originally came across the Rainbow lights twenty-four years ago and he tried to draw them using seven different crayons, he was unable to get it right though. So twelve years later he tried using twelve crayons instead, which also was a futile attempt. However, this time he made sure to come prepared with a full arsenal of two hundred fifty-one crayons. Ash comments on how he saw the Rainbow Lights earlier before arriving at the Pokémon Center, which results in Gan Gogh asking Ash where he saw the lights from. When Nurse Joy subsequently maps out where the lights must come from, it is determined that their origin is as the place formerly known as Remoraid Lake. Brock then brings up a legend he heard about the Remoraid at the lake being very difficult to catch, resulting in Misty asking how can Water-type Pokémon be living in an empty lake anyway. After this question is posed, Team Rocket arrives posing as archaeologists, with Meowth disguised as a Mummy. After this unexpected arrival, the lights suddenly appear in the sky again, however are gone before Gan Gogh has time to choose a crayon to start with.
Following this, Ash, Misty, Brock, Gan Gogh and Team Rocket all decide to go examine the cause of the lights over at Remoraid Lake, and along the way they notice that there is more plant life the closer they get. Finally upon arrival at the lake they discover a strange crystal-like tower, which Team Rocket decides could have potential monetary worth before discovering it's made of ice. They then decide that since there's nothing better to do, they should go back to their usual plan of stealing Pikachu, which James succeeds in doing by sneaking up from behind and grabbing him with rubber gloves. Ash is ready to battle Team Rocket, however Gan Gogh steps in first with his Venusaur. Gan Gogh's Venusaur easily defeats Jessie's Arbok, retrieves Pikachu and sends Team Rocket blasting off with a SolarBeam.
As the sun rises after the battle, water suddenly starts shooting out of the ground within the lake bed, as a group or Remoraid appears using their Water Gun and Ice Beam attacks to enlarge the ice pillar in the middle of the lake. Misty decides to attempt catching one of the Remoraid, but fails due to them suddenly swarming together as the Poké Ball can't work on more than one Pokémon at once. However, it is proven by Team Rocket who has just returned in their balloon, that Poké Balls aren't the only way to catch Pokémon by using a net instead. This also fails though, as the Remoraid all use their Water Gun to propel themselves higher, breaking a hole in the balloon and escaping from the net as Team Rocket blasts off again. As the pillar of ice then starts to melt, the rainbow lights appear in the sky again due to refraction of the sun's rays through the evaporating water vapor as the rivers begin to flow again. Later, Ash comments on how Gan Gogh never got the drawing he was hoping for, however he says that the fond memories that he has of this experience are worth more than any drawing will ever be. And so, our heroes continue their journey as they leave for a new adventure.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
TV episode debuts
Who's That Pokémon?: Sunflora (US and international), Remoraid (Japan)
- The English title for this episode is taken from the phrase trip the light fantastic.
- Both this episode and Moving Pictures share their names with Discworld books.
- Gan Gogh's dub and Japanese names get their names from artist Vincent van Gogh, with Loch "ロッホ" being similar to the Japanese pronunciation of the name Gogh "ゴッホ".
- The light at Remoraid Lake resembles the aurora produced by Deoxys.
- The Fossil of the Remoraid is unnaturally large, but no one seems to notice this, even when actual Remoraid are seen to be much smaller. In the Japanese version of this episode the Fossil is in fact a wood carving.
- Gan Gogh is mentioned to own a total of 251 crayons, which was the number of known Pokémon at the time.
- Jessie saying "But somehow it's a crystal." in the Japanese version, soon after seeing the crystal-like pillar in the pond, is a reference to the book Somehow it's a Crystal, by the Japanese author and politician Yasuo Tanaka.
- Wobbuffet can be heard when Team Rocket blasts off even though he was not out of his Poké Ball at the time.
- Jessie says that there are no clouds in the sky, but some clouds can be seen in the background.
- Misty's eyes are blue right after Gan Gogh mentions that Remoraid are hard to catch.
- The original airing of this episode on Hungama TV in India started the episode directly from the title card, skipping the part of the episode that comes before it.
In other languages